Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Allan J. Hovestadt

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert L. Betz

Third Advisor

Dr. Malcolm H. Robertson


The purpose of this study was to examine Black American adolescents' substance use (alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine) and their perceptions of their family environments. Sixty-two male and female subjects between the age of 13-21, from a large northeast medical facility, who reported exposure to alcohol or drug use, were asked to complete Moos' (1986) Family Environment Scale (FES). The subjects were divided into users and nonusers. Users were described as those having used alcohol or drugs at least three or more times per week within the previous month. Nonusers were described as those not having used alcohol or drugs less than three times during the previous month.

A $t$-test revealed that, on some dimensions of family environment, the nonusers perceived their family environment more favorably than users. The one dimension that appeared most frequently for nonusers was the Intellectual-Cultural Orientation subscale of the FES. This subscale suggests that nonusers perceived their family environments as promoting more social, political and cultural awareness.

In general, the investigator found support that alcohol and drug use affects the perception of family environment among Black adolescent users and nonusers. Based on the analysis, the kind of drug used also had an impact on certain aspects of perceived family environment.

It was concluded that nonusers of alcohol and drugs have different perceptions of some aspects of the family environment than regular users of alcohol or drugs. Also, it was concluded that males and females differed in their perception of the family environment.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Counseling Commons